The Department of State Security (DSS) yesterday accused former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, of attempting to breach the peace with his claim that a northern governor was one of the commanders of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
This is coming on the heels of the interview Mailafia granted the BBC Hausa late on Thursday, where he said he got the information about the alleged involvement of the said governor from “some Fulani traders” and did not know that his statement would go viral.
A statement issued by the DSS in Abuja, said that in spite of the channels available to Mailafia as a former government official, he chose to cross the line of decorum.
Mailafia had, during an interview he granted a radio station, Nigeria Info 99.3 FM alleged that a Nigerian governor was one of the commanders of Boko Haram.
He said the group planned to start a second civil war with the movement of arms to parts of the country during the COVID-19 lockdown.
He further alleged that armed gunmen had moved into rainforests and other locations in readiness to carry out their nefarious plans, even as he disclosed that part of the plans included moving into the cities to kill prominent citizens.
Following the development, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commision (NBC) said the interview breached the ammended Nigerian Broadcasting Code and fined Nigerian Info N5 million.
The fine triggered a national outrage, beginning with the board of the NBC which declared the fine illegal.
The statement signed by the Spokesman of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said that in spite of the apology tendered by Mailafia at the DSS office in Jos, Plateau State, he continued to stick to his position as the truth.
“Mailafia, as a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and currently, a Directing Staff at Nigeria’s foremost Policy Research Institute, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, has unhindered access to government’s platforms. It is expected that he should be conversant with official information management protocols.
“But regrettably, he chose to cross the lines of decorum and conduct expected of a personality of his status. It is disappointing that he never took advantage of these to reach any of the security or related agencies to share the so called information at his disposal,” the statement said.
Afunanya said Mailafia admitted the error in his outburst but chose the part of mischief after a six-hour interrogation.
“This, he has agreed to be a grievous error on his part. It, however, suggests his mischief and determination to use the fake news he spewed to incite the people under his control.
“It is even more condemnable that Mailafia, who had profusely apologised during his visit to the Service’s Plateau State Command for his ignoble statement, would, afterwards, announce to the world that he stood by his misguided eruption.”
The Department of of State Services, therefore, warned individuals or groups planning to tow the same line to desist from doing so.
“Similarly, the service also wishes to warn others, who in the guise of political mobilisation and supposed pursuit of group interests, engage in hostile and subversive activities, to desist forthwith from advancing their inimical and parochial causes.
“The service will not stand idly and watch disgruntled and aggrieved elements take laws into their hands and cause mayhem in the polity,” he said.
The statement maintained that “in line with its mandate of detecting and preventing threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria, the Service hereby reiterates its previous warning that it will henceforth not condone unruly conducts of persons and groups that ought to know better.
“In this regard, it will not hesitate to, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with such persons and/or groups, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test its resolve.”
It implored law abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear, while assuring them of protection even as it pledged to strengthen existing measures designed to achieve the objective.
Mailafia Apologises, Says He Got his Information from Traders
Mailafia Thursday said he got the information about a northern governor leading Boko Haram from Fulani traders in a market. However, he did not disclose the name of the market.
After his release from DSS custody, he said he was ready to lay down his life for the country like Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, did for his country.
But in an interview with BBC Hausa on Thursday, Mailafia said he got the information from “some Fulani traders” in the market and did not know that his statement would go viral.
According to him, his words were misunderstood and that he did not even know he was recorded on video.
Mailafia said he told the DSS what he knew about the incident and would not repeat what he said. He apologised for any comments he made that offended others.
He added that he is a fan of President Muhammadu Buhari, “but there are bad people who don’t give him the advice to help him.”
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) had asked security agencies to investigate Mailafia’s claim, saying the allegation was too grave to be swept under the carpet.